The call came in about 5:30. An apartment complex in Phoenix was on fire. Captain John Vardian had responded to hundreds of calls like this over his 30 year career. But this fire was life changing. “While I was coming down,” Vardian told us, “My chest was like it was on fire.” Vardian coded six times, he ended up in a coma and doctors, he says, didn’t think he would make it.
It took time but John Vardian fought back. He wanted to continue doing the job he loves so much.
Because he was hurt on the job, Captain Vardian says his workman’s compensation was supposed to cover medical bills. He thought it was all taken care of until, months later, he pulled his credit and found out he had a collections notice.
Vardian was right in the middle of building a pool when he says his credit line was frozen. Today, nine months later, his pool is a massive concrete hole surrounded by dirt. Vardian says his credit crashed because of a few hundred dollars that was paid late by his workman’s comp insurance. A collection company called Medical Business Bureau out of Illinois turned the bill over to Equifax. Vardian tried to call and write to get it all cleared up but says he was getting nowhere. “You shouldn’t be hurt financially for basically dying on the job,” he told us.
Captain Vardian sent an email to 3 on your side asking for our help. We reached out to the Medical Business Bureau and the company acted quickly. In a matter of days, they sent this response:
We appreciate KTVK-TV and Carey Pena for bringing this matter to our attention. MBB has removed the item placed on Captain Vardian's credit report. We're pleased that we could work collaboratively for a quick resolution. Debt collectors do want work with consumers. If a debt collector contacts you, talk to them and work together to correct a possible mistake or resolve the debt in question.
Consumers do have important rights when contacted by a debt collector - visit askdoctordebt.com for more information.
-Eric Mock, Medical Business Bureau
Park Ridge, IL